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HAPPILY EVA ANSWERS: Present Parenting in a Digital World

Eva Amurri answers questions in her Happily Eva Answers column

*This blog post was originally published on February 5, 2016. It’s been updated to include new copy and links.

Dear Eva,

How do you manage to stay present & in-the-moment while still sharing all your life via Snapchat, Twitter, email, FaceBook, texting with friends and family, work, blogging, etc.? I’m a new mom of a sweet 5-month-old girl (Harper), and I love having my phone out to capture sweet moments and share parts of our lives. But I’m starting to feel overly connected, and I have this constant need to update every site, reply to every text and email, and connect with family and friends on Facebook. As I happily click away, I’m worried I’m not present enough. Any tips on balancing it all??

Many thanks,

Multitasking Mama

Eva Amurri answers a reader question about present parenting in a digital world

Dear Multitasking Mama,

The question of a generation! I too am far from perfect when in comes to this. 

With an online-based job, I am obviously at the disposal of e-communications and all things social media.  I need the internet for my life, and yet I need to make sure that the internet doesn’t become my life.  Fortunately, there’s a difference! The smartphone is a beautiful thing, but has also inserted itself so deeply into our culture and into our daily lives that it is nearly impossible to set clear boundaries.  But I am trying—and I’ve been trying even harder recently.  If you read my New Year’s Resolutions post from 2015, you can see that this exact predicament was one of the intentions I set for myself as a Mom and person that year! I’m still a work in progress.

However, I do have a few tips and tricks for creating more of a balance when it comes to phones and technology in our lives…

Eva Amurri answers a reader question about present parenting in a digital world
  • Instead of focusing on the times when you are using your phone, focus on designating some specific times during the day when you won’t.  Come up with certain times (for me, it’s dinner with my Ian, and the forty-five minutes or so of playtime between the kids’ dinner and baths—as well as my bedtime) when you have absolutely no contact with your phone.  If this becomes comfortable for you, increase it!
  • Set a time at the end of the day when you will “catch up” on social media.  I like to do this after the kids are down—while I prepare dinner, before I put my phone away to eat.  Although I post during other times of day (I do have a blog after all!) I actually read and respond to other people’s postings during this time.  Otherwise, turn off all alerts on your social media apps.  This will prevent you from getting distracted when something pops up telling you that somebody commented on your Instagram or followed you on Facebook or Twitter.
  • Get goofy doing something you can only do with both your hands available! Build a fort out of the couch cushions and snuggle inside, play hide-and-seek, have a super silly tickle fight, play with a water table toy, or finger paint together.  Enjoy an activity that just wouldn’t be the same if you had your phone in hand.
  • Experiment with taking pictures other ways! Do you have a “nice” camera that you haven’t dusted off in a while? Go someplace beautiful with your family and take some shots!  I love these Fujifilm Instax Mini cameras!  Have a fun day with your kids where you commit to stashing the camera in your purse and making some retro memories.

With any of these things, it’s important to be working towards getting better.  If you cut anything cold turkey it’s not going to work! I think the intention you are setting to feel more connected and present in your life is an admirable one, and I’m sure you will make great strides!

I wish you all the best!

xoxo,

EAM

Eva Amurri answers a reader question about present parenting in a digital world

Photographs by Julia Dags | Copyright © 2021 Happily Eva After, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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1 Comment

  1. Dana Ivy says:

    This was a perfect post for me to read because I literally have these feelings daily! Great advice, Eva! It’s not easy and nobody is perfect but setting the intention to get better with this is def the way to go!

    Xox Dana Ivy // http://www.iadorewhatilove.com

    02.25.16 Reply